A Balanced Approach to Wellness

Posts tagged ‘eating’

The harm we bring when Fresh finishes last

Fruit and veggies

  • A dinner at Restaurant A delivers a cooked meat portion, rice, and a fried vegetable portion. The parsley sprig is decorative.
  • A dinner at Restaurant B delivers a pizza with meat and canned mushrooms.
  • A breakfast at Restaurant C offers eggs with potatoes or eggs with meat. Bread on the side.
  • An on-the-run food chain provides the meat in a bun with a piece of tomato and lettuce. The tomato and lettuce were cut much earlier.
  • A bakery that serves meals creates dishes that tantalize the eyes and nose, but challenge the small intestine. Only the decorative fresh peach slice lessens the challenge.

Today’s dining specializes in challenges to the small intestine, pancreas, and brain (and other organs and systems in the body). The missing fresh fruits and vegetables harm the body’s ability to heal. Healing requires the qualities that fresh fruits and vegetables possess.

A vitamin and mineral tablet can’t replace the capabilities of the fresh fruit and vegetables. A meal-in-a-bar can’t replicate fruit and vegetable power. Fruit drink isn’t related to fruit in its peel. Ketchup is not tomato at its best.

When fresh finishes last, health becomes compromised. When fresh finishes last, emotions erupt. When fresh finishes last, future health is less secure.

The food pyramids that show fruit and vegetables at the bottom are correct. Fruit and vegetables are the fuel providers that our bodies need to function effectively. A balanced diet provides vegetables in salads, main dishes, and soups and fruit as snacks, desserts, and appetizers.

The way to diet

Diet books-tower of confusion

The world of dieting is fraught with quick-results claims and misinformation. Diets work for those who build an individualized plan, not through following the latest fad diet, but through understanding of food and its role in nourishing the body.

Moderation is the foundation of proper eating. Eating whole and nutritious foods builds on the foundation.

Here is a poem that will appear in the future book of poetry “Growth”:

Diet books-tower of confusion poem

Eating Through Entitlement

Post 100-foods

Food is the substance that we all require to keep our bodies alive and functioning. Eating provides the way for food to enter our bodies. Eating is basic survival.

Eating through entitlement is eating that is beyond survival concerns. It is eating for fun or for reward or for companionship or for something to do. Entitlement eating concerns itself with taste, texture, and self-satisfaction. Entitlement eating relates not to hunger, but to the right to enjoy the food beyond its nutritional purpose.

Choosing a sweetened cereal for breakfast rather than oatmeal is an example of entitlement eating. Choosing salmon/veal for dinner rather than eggs/a bean dish is entitlement eating. Choosing a cappuccino frappe with extra whipped cream rather than black tea is entitlement eating. Eating three pieces of a delicious tasting pastry that lacks nutritional worth is entitlement eating. Eating a triple patty hamburger rather than a single patty hamburger is entitlement eating.

Creating tasty meals that are attractive and nutritious is not entitlement eating. Eating more of the tasty meals after hunger is sated is entitlement eating. Eating birthday cake is entitlement eating; however, eating it at a celebration with family and friends is positively received (unless too much is eaten).

Eating through entitlement.

Entitlement is part of our normal eating experience. Modern food production has enabled it to be so. Entitlement eating is very present, from the poor to the rich, in varying amounts of wastefulness.

There are ways to eat through the entitlement, that is, to eat without expecting the food to be more than the survival substance that it is. These changes in eating habits and in attitude can lead to better health and well-being.

  • Consider the healthful aspects of the foods you eat and change how you view the healthful foods.
  • Eat portions that fill but don’t stuff. (I use a salad-size plate at all meals to help me eat less.)
  • When you eat, look at your food and smile, and then think a thankful thought about it.
  • When you eat, notice the foods—their texture, their taste, their aromas, and their ability to satisfy your appetite. Even foods that have little nutritional value—notice them.
  • At events where food is served according to demand, like at buffets, fill your plate once and resist a second visit to the food.
  • Think of yourself as a person who eats to survive and then enjoy your food.

You can be a foodie and release the entitlement. By appreciating the foods you eat and by eating the amount that suits your age, sex, and activity level, you can enjoy the magic of food!

The fascination with food fads

liquids

Food fads create interesting news stories and limitless conversations. “This food is a super food!” or “This food is the answer to your health problems!”.  “This diet will bring you your dream life!” or “This diet will help you feel younger!”. “This supplement will cure you of <fill in the blank>!” or “This supplement suppresses your appetite so you can lose weight easily!”.  “ By following this regimen you can live longer, lose weight faster, or eat all your favorite foods!”

So go the food-fad claims.

The true food rule is moderation. Eating in moderation is the key to healthful eating. Even if you eat a food that is un-nourishing, as long as you eat a small amount, it will not cause harm.

Moderation is discussed in Oneself—Living:

“Moderation is actually fascinating! No easy feat is moderation. It requires attention and control and vigilance. And sometimes, rethinking and reworking. Moderation is the pinnacle of conscientious living. Moderation contributes to self-control, which in turn brings balance. The more one lives in moderation, the more one can accomplish.

Regarding eating, moderate eating provides the appropriate amount of fuel to run the body. Not too much, not too little. Moderate eating leads to enjoyment of food and to better digestion. Food that is not ejected or is not over-consumed is food well used. Food that is eaten for sustenance is food well used. Food that is eaten, not only in the correct amounts, but also in nourishing environments, nourishes the body and the soul. Soulful eating. Soul-fulfilling nourishment. Nourishing the soul includes the body’s nourishment. Enjoying the food, appreciating the food, understanding that food is for energy, all connect to elevate the process of caring for the body.

Paying attention to the amounts of food eaten, to the atmosphere in which the food is eaten, and to the quality of the food lead to well-being and elevated living. Moderate eating and eating atmosphere are presented in the book of poetry, Unfolding:

Poem-eating

Food fads are simply fads. Moderate eating is for a lifetime!

To buy Oneself—Living: http://amzn.com/1495289451

To buy Unfolding: http://amzn.com/1508828229

Devouring delicious meat

cooking meatThere is a way to eat meat and that is with appreciation. Appreciation for the ease at which the meat is obtained and appreciation for the ability to have meat when wanted.

The ease at which the meat is obtained: in restaurants, fast food chains, meat markets, supermarkets, convenience shops, and through the internet. Meat is easy to come by. The fuss of preparing the meat for consumption has also been made easy: ready-made meats of all kinds, whole roasted chickens, frozen meatballs and link sausages, refrigerated sliced meats and meat salads, hot and cold meat entrees—and all of these are at the supermarket.

The ability to have meat when wanted. Because meat is so easy to obtain, it can be eaten as much as desired. There are even diets that tout meat as the main part of each meal. Bacon for breakfast, chicken cutlet for lunch, steak for dinner, beef jerky for a snack. Lox for breakfast, tuna for lunch, salmon for dinner, sushi for a snack.

With so much meat available, it is easy to forget the path the meat dish took to get to the table or into the take-away bag. The ease of the access lessens the appreciation of the meat, and so people who eat meat must make a special effort to add appreciation into each meal in which meat is eaten.

Becoming aware of the meat processing industries is a greater step towards meat appreciation. Buying meat from companies that support animal care can add to the appreciation and awareness of the animals that were raised and slaughtered on behalf of the human diner.

The most important appreciation is towards each cow, pig, chicken, turkey, or fish that gave its life for the meal sitting in front of you.

||Eating Living Dishes||

Animals
eat animals.

The eaten animals
are raw except
when they are cooked.

 Cooked animals are eaten
by people.

Even when
cooked, the eaten animals
have living aspects.

Life
can never be cooked away.

When eating living dishes,
eat with humility.

from the upcoming book of poetry titled Connection.

How much meat to eat? Spiritual Presence informs me that the right amount for each person is based on each person’s need for food that is filled with chewingness. Meat is a food to be chewed, and the chewing gives rumination satisfaction. Also, people who taste food through their sense of smell have a need for meat that is usually more than they need to eat.

Farmers’ market balance

Post 104-veggies.jpg

Farmers markets are opportunities to buy freshest-­of­-fresh fruits and vegetables and items prepared by farmers and other stall owners. Farmers markets are opportunities to be close to the produce without having gone to the farm to pick them. Farmers markets are different from grocery stores in that opportunity is provided for connecting with people who are connected to the gifts that come from the earth.

The fruits and vegetables that are displayed at farmers markets are usually local produce. They contain remembrance of the land that is nearby. At a spiritual level, eating produce that came from nearby land is nourishing beyond spiritual sustenance that occurs from eating produce that came from afar. The body won’t feel the difference, but the spirit will. Eating produce from other countries or from great distances inside one country is less spiritually sustaining. The spiritual sustenance occurs through the intangible thread that ties the earth in which the produce grew to the person eating. The farther the distance, the less ability of the thread to connect. Local produce supply the connection.

Intangible connection to the foods that nourish our physical bodies is one more step towards balance. The more we eat the spiritually balancing gifts from the earth, the more easily we can connect to our soulful selves.

Note: Growing one’s own fruits and vegetables is even more spiritually balancing.

Note: In small countries where the produce does not travel far to reach the grocery stores, the produce in the grocery stores still has the intact intangible thread to the earth, but the handling of the produce affects access to the earth-giving spiritual connection.

The health benefits of food from scratch

Green beans

This post is not about the vitamins and minerals in unprocessed foods. It is about the health benefits that occur when the food is prepared. We’ll use the snapping of green beans as our example.

Green beans can be purchased in cans and in bags, ready for cooking, or even already cooked. They do provide nutritional value, but the benefits of preparing them from scratch are lost.

Here’s what happens when a person sorts and snaps fresh green beans:

  1. The muscles in the hands and arms are exercised.
  2. The muscles of the hands and eyes are coordinated (as in an exercise for fine motor skills).
  3. The muscles in the neck are lengthened.
  4. The muscles in the abdomen are tightened, especially if the work is performed while standing.
  5. The muscles supporting the spine are exercised.
  6. The muscles in the shoulder blade area and chest are coordinated.
  7. The muscles that are used during breathing are relaxed because the action of snapping beans (if the person is not rushed) causes a slowing of the breathing.
  8. The muscles of the oblique groups of abdominal muscles and the re-absorption of water in the kidneys synchronize to optimize urine production.
  9. Muscles of the upper and lower torso move syncopatedly, which strengthens and stretches them.
  10. Muscles in the face rejuvenate when movements are focused on the work. (Talking on a phone while preparing the food cancels this benefit. Singing while preparing the food does not cancel this benefit.).
  11. Many other muscles and body parts are strengthened and stretched as well.

The list above presents physical benefits from sorting and snapping fresh green beans. Here are benefits to the other components of health:

  1. Emotional balancing occurs when the work is done with a generous intention.
  2. Spiritual balancing occurs through connection with whole foods.
  3. If the work is done with another family member, opportunities can arise for heartfelt conversations.
  4. The food that will be eaten is personalized; in other words, its role as nutrition provider is elevated.
  5. The color, texture, and shapes of the green beans at the various stages of preparation affect the senses in favorable ways.

The more a person is involved in creating the meal he or she eats, the more uplifting and balancing the experience of eating.

(This post is dedicated to my friends and family who hadn’t realized the benefits that come from taking the time to prepare meals from scratch. ♥)

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